Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Brazil's BRF, JBS shares slump after China suspends meat imports

Brazil's BRF, JBS shares slump after China suspends meat imports

The Brazilian authorities suspended 33 government officials from work in a wide-scale crackdown on charges of selling rotten processed meat and poultry.

JBS, the world's largest meat producer, said in an ad broadcast Saturday night on Brazil's largest TV network that the judge's ruling on the so-called Weak Flesh probe had no mention of quality irregularities involving the company and that the "unfortunate" cases cited by the media do not involve any of its brands.

Among the accused are JBS, the world's largest beef exporter, and BRF, the biggest poultry producer. Temer told the ambassadors that the Agriculture Ministry would soon release a list of countries that could have received rotten meat as well as the name of the meatpackers responsible.

According to the statement, police said they arrested three BRF employees and two JBS employees, as well as 20 public officials in the "Federal Police's largest ever search-and-raid operation ever".

Temer said the plants under scrutiny represented a tiny proportion of Brazil's meat industry.

The South American nation exports its meat to more than 150 countries, with principal markets as far apart as Singapore, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Russia, the Netherlands and Italy. "And only six of them have exported in the past 60 days", said Mr Temer.

Meanwhile, Brazil's President, Michel Temer, met foreign diplomats from the EU, China, the United States and elsewhere yesterday [Sunday 19 March] to allay concerns over exports following police raids on meatpackers in Brazil on Friday.

On Friday, Copa and Cogeca secretary general, Pekka Pesonen, sent a letter to the Commission calling for European Union safety standards to be met and for Mercosur countries to ensure individual traceability of cattle and a ban on the use of meat and bone meal in poultry production.

JBS says it follows sanitary regulations and has high standards for its products, while BRF has denied breaching regulations.

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